Let's jump right in! In the age of going paperless it seems that we still get a lot of mail at our house. So how do we keep the counters clean and organize all this paper? We transformed window shutters that hang in our kitchen and organize the mail. Junk mail gets recycled and the important items get placed into the appropriate shutter. The shutter is also a great way to display mail that you are proud of i.e. save the dates (which I have already received four of for this summer already), Christmas Cards, Valentines Day cards or even just letters and postcards from loved ones. Below you will find a step by step tutorial on how to make a Window Shutter Mail Organizer. Disclaimer: You do not need to have a Silhouette for this project but using the Silhouette gives it a little something extra!
I came across a whole bunch of shutters last year when I was at Brimfield and I came home with quite a few. What's interesting about this shutter in particular is that they were on a barn that got destroyed when the tornado had passed through the town. Now I am a sucker for a story so you can imagine I came home with a car full of these. Not to worry I did barter them down in price.
These mail organizers were actually a huge hit in summer craft shows. I started by cutting all the shutters in half because they were fairly tall. Then make sure to clean up the shutters by hand sanding and using windex to remove the leftover outdoor elements that may still be living on the shutter.
I used two coats of Annie Sloan "old white" paint (in the mason jar) and Vax from Shabby paints to give a distressed shabby chic look to the project. Make sure to get in between each shutter panel and watch for paint drips on the back side of the shutter.
I went to Lowe's and got a piece of plywood out of the previously cut section of wood for free! The wood was still at least 4 ft by 6 ft piece of ply did I mention it was free?! I measured the inside edge of the shutter and cut the wood down to size. Draw a line on the back of the wood marking every 3rd shutter. Not only stapling the plywood into place but also stapling along the line for every 3rd shutter. This will create a stop for the mail so it does not slip fully into the organizer and become trapped in between the shutter and the wood.
If you don't have a Silhouette you can stop here. This is a beauty just as she is! Add some hanging hardware and you are good to go! But having a Silhouette and Valentine's Day fastly approaching I thought I would add some vinyl to create not only a mail organizer but a way to show letters from loved ones including save the dates and Valentines.
Opening Silhouette Studio I chose to write "Love Letters" in the free font Cursif. Make sure to use the welding tool to assure that each letter is not individually cut. Instead it will weld the selected shapes into one shape. You will find this tool on the bottom left, it looks like a rectangle and a circle combined.
Since I was using a small amount of vinyl, less than 2 inches tall, I used my cutting mat to place the vinyl on. I actually got this vinyl for a great price on Pick Your Plum. I am way too addicted to that website.
Once the Silhouette is done cutting carefully peel back the corner of the vinyl and lift off leaving behind your lettering. Be careful to not let the excess vinyl touch. Using your hook tool weed out the excess vinyl that was left behind inside your lettering.
Cut transfer tape to size. I like using transfer tape with a grid. The grid makes it easier to cut straight and place on the project straight.
Peel the backing off the transfer tape using the sticky grid side place it onto your vinyl.
Make sure to use the scraper tool or a credit card to rub over the vinyl and transfer tape. This will help the vinyl adhere to the transfer tape.
Measure the shutter to find the middle. Also mark the middle of the "sticker". This will help ensure the lettering will be on center and hopefully straight.
Peel back the white backing and place on the shutter. Using a scraper or a credit card rub over the vinyl. This will aid in transferring the vinyl from the tape to the wood.
Carefully peel back. I suggest pulling back low and tight. If lettering is still sticking to the transfer tape go over that area again with the scraper tool.
I absolutely love how this project came out and it will definitely have a home in my new craft studio once it is complete!
Check out the full blog post here http://weekendcraft.com/journal/diy-window-shutter-mail-organizer